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ABP calls in Anthesis to simplify their M3 structure and roll out M3 to a new site


ABP Food Group is one of Europe’s largest privately owned food processors, operating across different business sectors and spanning Ireland, the UK and Continental Europe. ABP comprises four separate divisions:

  • Beef: the operation of meat plants and the leading beef producer in the UK and Ireland.
  • Proteins: the rendering and by-products division of ABP Food Group.
  • Renewables: conversion of organic waste into biodiesel and electricity.
  • Pet Foods: one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of pet foods.

ABP has a policy of consolidating new acquisitions into their corporate M3 environment, v7.1, and creating a standard approach to processes and systems.  Due to recent significant changes within the ABP UK division a restructure of the M3 divisions and warehouses was required and within a set time line. Ongoing projects meant that the local IT team required temporary resource with the correct skills to assist in a M3 divisional restructure project. This included new, splitting and retiring divisions.

To achieve this, they contacted Anthesis to work with their own financial consultant on a solution. ABP required support from someone with both the required skills and immediate availability; tight deadlines meant the first division had to be live in 8 weeks and the second in 12. With very short notice, Anthesis was able to supply a Services Manager who could not only provide consultancy support but also had the necessary expertise to assist with management of the project.

The project scope meant splitting two sites that were set up on M3 as one division, one facility and one warehouse, into two separate divisions, facilities and warehouses. The M3 division was operational, producing both meat and meat-free products and both followed similar processes on M3.

The main challenge facing ABP from operating out of one division was that it did not allow them to achieve their strategic aim of each site being their own profit centre. On an operational level, having two separate sites classified as one warehouse in M3 meant that there were severe restrictions in terms of planning values, identifying locations, stock movements and adjustments and reporting.

The site supplying meat-free products, Eatwell, was the first to migrate to its own division. The key elements of the project were:

  • Creation of a new division.
  • Segregation and setup of item numbers and Bills of Materials to be created in new division.
  • Rolling of all costs and reconciliation with costs from existing division.
  • Alteration of existing reports and documents.
  • Allocating the fixed assets between the two divisions and their configuration.
  • Testing of all processes in new division and creation and adjustment of accounting setup to suit.
  • Cutover preparation including splitting out incoming EDI orders, configuration changes, closing down all WIP and orders, part number changes, etc.
  • Go Live that included creation of lot numbers, movement of all stock, deactivation of part numbers, full stock reconciliation and verification of account transactions.

The new Eatwell division was created and went live on schedule, 8 weeks after the project started.

The second project was to migrate Wessex foods, a manufacturer of frozen sausages and burgers, into its own division. The tasks were broadly similar to those described above for Eatwell, although the higher volume of stock meant increased emphasis on stock movement and reconciliation. This project was completed and went live a month later.

ABP was pleased with the performance delivered by Anthesis and has retained our Services Manager to work on the next group project, the implementation of M3 into another meat processing plant in Tunbridge Wells. This is a six month project to implement Manufacturing, Sales and Finance across the site and to replace the current legacy financial and production systems. The project is currently on track to go live in the 2nd qtr of 2014.

Michael Stride, the Anthesis Service Manager, has over 16 years’ experience of both consultancy and project management on Movex/M3. He offers consultancy expertise across the range of M3 functionality from operations, sales and manufacturing as well as providing project management for upgrades, re-structuring and new implementations

“The challenge is finding the right professional services which are available when you need them. Anthensis’ flexible approach and bank of industry and M3 application skills helped to support what what was an aggressive timeline of projects which have been delivered on time and on budget, with no unexpected impacts on the wider business.” Robin Irvine CIO of ABP UK